Monday, May 3, 2010
Don't the Beat Overcome You...
Then I wake up.
I don’t actually recall playing the drums in these dreams, but I always approach the set with the confidence that I’ll be able to at least play a beat.
I used to play drums when I was teenager. I was a simple 'boom-chuck" drummer back when people surrounded themselves with dozens of tom toms and played ridiculous solos. (I was born under a bad time.) And I played my last beats about 36 years ago. But I kept the drums—always hoping there’d come a time when I could pound them again without bothering the neighbors.
I’ve even been working on a soundproof room in the basement. But I’m even less of a builder than musician, so it’s taking a while. (Maybe by the time I get Social Security.)
But yesterday the dream came true.
I was with a group of amateur musicians. One was semi-pro. We’d rented a room with three amps and a drum set. A drummer came, but he was having trouble keeping the beat.
So when he left the room, I couldn’t resist.
There was a bass player and a guitarist. I sat down at the drums—and for the first time all afternoon we had a little vibe going. I couldn’t do much, but I could keep time, work the pedals, and smack the snare two or three times every measure.
I loved it.
Today I spent some time polishing my old drums, which have been in our basement soaking up dust and grime for decades. It got me thinking, and I looked the set up on line.
Turns out, it’s vintage.
It’s a set called Ludwig “Club Date.” The small tom tom was manufactured three weeks before my 11th birthday. I got them when I was 16 or 17 for $150.
The cheapest set they sold, painted black—but someone was selling the bass drum alone for $275 on e-bay.
I’d never sell mine—but it’s nice to know that the drums have appreciated.
Now I got to make them feel that way.
We’re going to rent the room again, and I’m going to put down the guitar for a while and try to drum.